Northeast residents talk about the beverage tax, tax reforms and what to do with the Northeast Regional Library closed in this week’s letters to the editor.
Options for library lovers
Just our luck.
With recent frigid temperatures, all you might want to do is curl up with a pile of good books. But those same single-digit temperatures cracked a water main at Northeast Regional Library, and our building is closed for repairs for a few weeks. We apologize for this inconvenience and hope to open our doors again soon.
In the meantime, if you need a place to warm up, our other buildings are open. And if you need some reading material, our website is always open. It is as good a time as ever to explore our digital collections at freelibrary.org
Click on the “Digital Media” link to see the various collections you can access at home or from your smartphone for free. Download the Overdrive app and you can pick from tens of thousands of e-books or audiobooks to read or listen to.
If you have not listened to audiobooks before, I recommend giving it a try. If your life is too busy to sit down with a book, you can still enjoy listening to a good book while doing chores, driving to work or on the bus or train.
If it’s information you need, explore the variety of free research databases at freelibrary.org
Just click on “Databases.” You can browse them by subject, or head to one of the general information databases such as the Gale Virtual Reference Library, which makes available the full text of hundreds of reference books on all topics.
If you need assistance accessing any of these resources, do not hesitate to call a librarian at 215–686–5322 or type your question in the “Ask” portion of our website. A professional librarian will respond by email within 48 hours. Our website also offers an e-chat option available 24/7.
Here at Northeast Regional, we are preparing some great programs for when we reopen, including a Gardening and Environment Fair on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m., and our Storytelling for Adults monthly community event on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m.
Visit freelibrary.org for more details about these and other upcoming events. Even when some of our doors are closed, the Free Library is still working for you.
Regional Librarian, Northeast Regional Library
Beverage tax is a failure
How much more evidence do Philadelphia’s elected officials and citizens need to realize that the beverage tax is a failure? The media recently reported that November revenue from the onerous tax was less than $6 million, far below the city’s projection and the lowest monthly total to date since the tax was enacted a year ago.
At this rate, with only December 2017 Beverage Tax receipts still to be tallied, the city will take in $20 million less than it projected. Given the city’s bait and switch ploy — allocating beverage tax revenue after its passage for numerous other programs, not solely “for the kids” — that’s considerably less money for Rebuild Philadelphia.
In addition to the badly under-performing revenues, the beverage tax is wreaking economic havoc on beverage companies, grocery chains, convenience stores, restaurants, corner delis and my union. Many of my members are seeing 50-percent reductions in their take-home pay. Others have quit altogether to help their families make ends meet.
There is significant evidence that attests to the economic harm being caused by the beverage tax. Put an end to it before further damage is done.
Daniel H. Grace
Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 830
You’ll hate tax reform bill
This must be the first and only time that I was glad to pre-pay my Philadelphia real estate taxes.
Philadelphia sent out the 2018 tax bills in December, and I am not subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
So it will be deductible on my 2017 tax return to help shelter the real impact of the Trump/Republican tax bill that almost everyone will learn to hate.
Mayer Krain, CPA